The University of Illinois announced today that they will permanently remove close to 2,200 seats from Memorial Stadium because they’ve outlived their usage. Illini SID Kent Brown said removal of the bleacher seats will drop stadium capacity from 62,870 to about 60,600.
These bleacher seats in the south end zone were intended to be temporary when they were installed 29 years ago.
Engineers who have examined the seats say they should be removed. Brown said the seats aren’t unsafe yet, but might be in a few years.
In other news, the bowl Illinois dominated Baylor in last holiday season announced a three year title sponsorship deal, beginning for the 2011 event. The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas will be played in December on an ESPN network at Reliant Stadium in Houston – home to the NFL’s Houston Texans. So unfortunately, there will be no more Texas Bowl, at least in namesake.
The annual game will match up the Big 12 versus the Big Ten. In 2010, Illinois beat Baylor 38-14 on Dec. 29 at Reliant Stadium, and with 68,211 fans had its second-highest attended game in bowl history.